Assembling a Dragon Canvas from Photowall.

When Photowall got in touch asking me if I’d like to review their service I was intrigued. Photowall specialise in posters, canvas prints and more surprisingly, detailed wallpaper designs. As I have so much furniture against the walls of my room I chose a canvas print.

Choosing the Size and Subject

This is a print of Hobsyllwin painted by Ciruelo. I wanted the subject of my canvas to be a peaceful looking dragon with neutral blue and golden tones to match the rest of the decor of my room so this one was perfect! It was easy to browse on the site by looking under different categories or using the search box. You can also upload your own image, such as a photograph.

Once I’d  chosen the subject, I choose the dimensions on a sliding scale (so no working out numbers) and then I saw what it would cost, had I not been gifted this.

Packaging and Postage

The print arrived within two days! I’ve never had anything arrive that fast. It was environmentally packaged in a thick cardboard box, padded with brown paper. It included the canvas, four sides of a frame and fixtures and fittings.

Rather than assembling the frame and stretching the canvas over it like I’m used to, this came with very sticky tape along the edge of the very sturdy frames. You place the edge of the frame planks onto the edge of canvas and then fold them in, to create the frame shape.

This is me practicing before peeling the backing off the tape. Sadly, even though I’d stuck three sides perfectly to the edge of the canvas, the top frame didnt have room to fold over into place. It just sat awkwardly on top of the sides frames at the corners. I had to move it back a little to fit it into place but that meant it was overhanging the canvas slightly. I wished I had a bit of canvas space to spare. The print is going to hang high up so it will be too high to notice it doesn’t reach the edge, very fortunately!

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Screwing the frame together was incredibly easy and I did it by hand. I’ve not hung it up as it’s too big for me to manage on my own.

I’d have much preferred it to have been professionally mounted for the price, if I’d have bought it but overall I’m really pleased with my dragon. He’s going to hang high-up at the side of the chimney breast (if he’ll fit), facing the door so he’ll be the first thing you see on entering the room.

If you are interested in getting 25% off a poster, wall paper or a canvas you can use vampituppw2020 at the checkout. Hurry though as offer ends 6/6/2020.

💛✨Chrissie✨💛

October Monthly Round-up

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I’ve added a few more halloween decs around the place. Black, white and neon green seems to becoming a theme lol

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Food 

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You can read my review of these dairy free delights here

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I’ve been having Genius dairy and gluten-free blueberry muffins for breakfast recently. They are so moist and full of blueberries, I think they are the best muffins I’ve ever eaten!

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The Bloke treated me to a meal at Pizza Express (my fave pizza place for my 5th Blogversary) and I ordered a gluten and dairy-free starter and main and then cheated on the desert. Here’s my review of the food and alternative gf and df options.

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As banana is my second favourite ice cream flavour after caramel I was so happy to find this dairy free (vegan) version of Chunky Monkey in Tesco. The dark chocolate and the nuts really do add a nice chunky texture.

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This is very similar to a dark chocolate Ferrero Rocher. I have to ration myself on these or else I’d just devour them in under a minute and then reach for another.

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Vegetarian and dairy-free sweets with a surprising flavour and texture. Here’s my review.

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Well there had to be some kind of pumpkin related spice somewhere didn’t there, ha! This smooth spicy soup also works well as a sauce for gnochi or dumplings or as a rich base for a homemade winter vegetable soup.

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Not the best lighting but then, not the best pizza either. This is the gluten-free option from Pizza Hut with a very thick, very dry base. I’m glad I ordered extra toppings otherwise the grainy texture of the bread base would have overwhelmed the whole thing. I’m glad they have a gf option but it really does need more work.

Style

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I’m so happy the weather is now cold enough a) for my chronic fatigue to not impact me quite as much and b) for me to wear my ‘One Love Manchester’ charity jumper.

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I put together this Halloween homeware board with clickable links of where to buy. Obviously items won’t arrive in time today but you might catch some bargains in the sale for next year.

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I bought two amazing (and much needed) balconette bras – one in light pink and one in turquoise – a cute cocktail glass key chain, lounge pants, polar bear slippers and a compact mirror from Boux Avenue. The slippers are really cozy and easy to walk in but the large size was too small for my size 7 feet! I had to remove their pompom tails and cut a slit down the back to get me feet in and out.

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These are the lounge pants. As I sit around the house a lot, I need to wear something more comfortable than jeans but warmer than thin pj’s bottoms. After getting sick of just jogging bottoms and leggings I found these furry things.

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I love animals but feel like my home could easily end up looking like a zoo’s tacky gift shop. So I put together Animal Accessories for You and Your Home and was very discerning with the lovely items I included.

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I figured seeing as I sleep well into the day, wake up at night, can be grumpy but also cuddly and love junk food, I’m already half racoon so I was delighted to find this racoon dressing gown from New Look.

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I compiled the best Autumn and Winter Accessories  with clickable links of where to buy each item. I literally have a whole cupboard for my A/W accessories.

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I’ve realised I was a little bit ahead of the fashion last year when I bought a jumper with corset style lacing around it. It’s a big cozy jumper but also feminine with the lacing and bows. It also doesn’t have a really slouchy (read cold) neck line, like so many of them do.

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So I create this post and then notice this month’s Cosopolitan magazine has done the same edit with so many similar jackets. Here’s me thinking I’m being original, ha! I used to wear a puffa for many years as a teen and it’s seriously like wearing half of your duvet.

Lifestyle

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I’ve been blogging for 5 years. Everyone has said “Wow, I can’t beleive you’ve been blogging for five years!” but I feel like it’s something I’ve always done. Probably because I had a photo blog on the sadly defunked Blip Photo for a couple of years before and kept paper journals (with glued in collages, postcards and ticket stubs etc.)  all of my life before that. Thank you so much to every one for reading, liking and commenting. It puts a smile on my face everyday.

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Here’s the first Outfit of the Day post I ever did. I was determined I wasn’t going to use a bedroom mirror with a load of clothes piled on the bed in the background, so I grabbed my Nikon and dragged the Bloke into his communal garden instead!

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The light is getting worse and worse for taking piccies now the nights are drawing in and when I use in door lighting, everything looks too yellow – gah! Anyway here is my review of these lovely scented soy candles.

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October is Dysautonomia awareness month, which is very important as it’s often overlooked and not recognised by Dr’s. Basically it’s when a persons autonomic nervous system doesn’t automatically regulate what it is meant to. For me this includes not regulating my heart rate, blood pressure, temperature, appetite, digestion and temperature properly. It also doesn’t signal to me what’s going on until I’m really really hungry, hot, tired etc. It also means that I barley sweat (unless I over increase my salt and water intake) and I’m not capable of shivering to keep warm – ever. Unless a symptom is incredibly severe it’s just up to the person to keep an eye on everything themselves – quite a task for me, given my memory and concentration probs but I’m getting there with the help of the Bloke and my Dad.

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Activewear, athleisure, whatever you want to call it and however you want to use it, here’s some of the most stylish and user friendly items out there.

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I’ve been giving myself and my avatar a bit of a makeover lately.

Beauty

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It’s been fairly quiet on the beauty front this month as I’m trying to cut down a on the amount of makeup I buy, unless it’s a staple product I’m renewing like concealer or nude/brown lipstick or it’s something Metalic because shiny! Here’s my review of Topshop eye colour and matte lip bullet.

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Speaking on cutting down, I wanted to get one nail poilish in a subtle pretty shade which I could wear everyday and which would go with everything, which would last. Read my review to find out if Nails Inc Gel Effect worked.

Which genre would you like to see more of on Vamp It Up Manchester?

Chrissie

Street Art Manchester and Cities of Hope Global


The Cities of Hope project has been going on in Manchester for 9 days in the Northern Quarter, where renowned street artists from around the world came to Manchester to create art focusing on social justice including homelessness, mental health and equal rights.

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Here’s some other street art and shots from around The NQ

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Don’t know if anyone remembers me posting this piece last year but I went to check if it was still in the wall and found a little dude chilling on the stairs!

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check out the drone

Look out for more street art and general Manchester street shots in future. I intend to do one a month if poss.

Chrissie

Springtime – homeware, beauty and accessories

Springtime - homeware, beauty and accessories

Manchester Street-art Part 5

These are from my photo archives and were taken way back in 2011 when a street-art competition was taking place in the motorway underpasses between Hulme and central Manchester.

Manchester street art

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Manchester street art

Manchester street art

Manchester street art

I wish I could paint that well on a piece of paper, never mind on a tiled wall with a spray can. Major respect to the artists. If any one knows who any of them are, please let me know.

Obviously it stands to sense you should try to avoid taking photo’s with a nice camera in a secluded area (like a tunnel!). If you do though, take someone with you to act as look out.

Space Invaders In Manchester

Property of Manchester Flick Chick

Property of Manchester Flick Chick

Property of Manchester Flick Chick

Property of Manchester Flick Chick

Property of Manchester Flick Chick

Property of Manchester Flick Chick

I don’t know how many of these are originals by Invader and how many (if any) are a homage to the French street-artist, who’s known for invading major international cities. I do know that us Mancunians are proud to have him visit our city.

How many have you spotted around Manchester or have you seen any in your own city?

Manchester Street-art Part 3

I recently said to my partners Dad as I was snapping away “If camera’s weren’t invented yet I really don’t know what I would do” He immediately replied “You would have learned to sketch.” Good point!

Here’s some from the archives – some are still around, others aren’t.

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Mystical old man

Twiggy

Frank Sidebottom

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Which ones are your faves? Have you seen any of them?

Manchester Street Art: Part 1

Manchester Street Art: Part 2

Manchester Street-art Part 2

Here is a compilation of street art I’ve come across recently and I have to say the folks in Manchester have got pretty creative this summer!

Tiny staircase in wall & me

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Turns out that ‘Mr Smith’ dreamed of a tiny but well lit staircase in the middle of a wall!

Neon footwear street-art

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A nice bit of ‘yarn bombing’ surrounding him but I have no idea what he’s wearing on his head.

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Street-art by Alice

I’ve seen more work by Alice Pasquini but I can’t remember where and it’s bugging me. Let me know if you know.

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I have a massive backlog of street-art to blog about so it’s going to become a regular feature. I’ve made a promise to myself to keep on top of it from now on, as it can disappear pretty quickly!

Manchester Street Art: Part 1

Mega Mela in Manchester!

Free Event Platt Fields Park (Fallowfield bordering Rusholme) on Sat 6th July  – Sun 7th July 12:00 noon until 9:30pm both days.

Mega Mela is the largest celebration of South Asian culture in the North of England. It includes two stages of live music, traditional food, arts and crafts and a funfair. The mela has been organised by The Manchester Mela Committee – comprising of representatives of Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka – since 1989. The Mela has attracted audiences in excess of 60,000 made up of many ages and ethnicities.

I’ve been once before but missed last years so I’m supper excited to go on Saturday. I’ve been saving up the pennies as I want to sample as many delicious veggie dishes as my tummy will allow! I also want to buy some beautiful statement jewellery. I’m definitely getting Henna done on my hands, seeing as it’s Summer and I don’t have my usual long sleeves covering them. Definitely taking my camera!

Celebrate Festival

The theme of this years Celebrate festival is Active Minds and Bodies. There will be something for everyone to enjoy and also get involved in including:

Live music
International food
Arts and craft stalls
Free work-shops
Multi sport activities
A bouncy castle for the little’uns.

Free entry!
This Saturday (22nd June)
12:00-6:00pm
St Margaret’s Social Centre, Brantingham Rd, M21 0TU
No dogs. No glass bottles.